Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa)


Cocobolo is a member of the rosewood family and is found on the Pacific side of Central America, particularly Nicaragua, and Coasta Rica. The heartwood of cocobolo is brown with vibrant streaks of red, yellow and orange. The heartwood is clearly demarcated from the sapwood which is much lighter in colour. The vibrant colours of the heartwood typically darken over time to deep red/orange colour with distinct black or dark marks.

Cocobolo is very hard, dense and strong. The wood is fine to medium texture and polishes exceptionally well. It will develop a smooth waxy finish with nothing more than buffing. This attribute is largely attributable to the oils that are found in this wood, which also make it difficult to sand and can affect the curing of some finishes. The natural oils also make cocobolo difficult to glue with traditional (water-based) wood glues.

Cocobolo is often used in fine turnings, furniture and cabinets in both solid and veneer forms. It is also often for knife scales and tool handles.

Like many of the true rosewoods, the sanding dust from cocobolo is known to be an irritant and can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

Also known as:

No known aliases.

For further information see:
Some recent projects made from Cocobolo:

    Mountain Ash with Cocobolo Inlay

    Cocobolo Ringbox with Blackwood Inlay